Guernsey and Jersey’s Chambers of Commerce are this week hosting meetings to explore the viability and benefits of a tunnel between the Channel Islands and a link to France.

Arild Sovik, network director at the Norwegian Tunnelling Society, and Teitur Samuelsen, CEO of Eystur- og Sandoyartunlar, the Faroe Islands government-owned tunnel corporation, will address the meetings.

The Channel Islands group, Connect 3 Million, has been campaigning for the idea since 2019. The group says the concept is viable because other similar tunnelling projects have been successful. It cites the Faroe Islands, where 11km of sub-sea links have been built.

The group says tunnels could connect three million people in lower Normandy to Guernsey, via Jersey, with a commute time of one hour.

The fixed link proposals for the Channel Islands gained momentum in October last year when the Jersey government announced a study to assess the economic advantages of establishing a fixed connection to France.

Connect 3 Million spokesperson Rollo de Sausmarez said the benefits of a tunnel outweighed the obstacles.

“Many of the problems we have come from the fact that we are isolated – there is an expensive stretch of water between us and anywhere else, and that increases the cost of everything. It is going to be a lot of money, but the money generated from thousands and thousands of people using it every day are really quite significant,” he said.

Alice Gill, executive director of the Guernsey Chamber of Commerce, supports the concept.

“Guernsey’s harbour has fewer physical restrictions in comparison to Jersey; it could become the main harbour for both islands. Then roll this out to all areas… tourism, healthcare, recruitment. The possibilities and potential benefits are huge – we would be so much stronger connected,” she said.